Hakim K. Said, MD
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
University of Washington School of Medicine
Plastic and reconstructive surgery
What do you enjoy about being a plastic surgeon?
I lead a research lab that studies why patients with leukemia do or don’t respond well after therapy. Our two other areas of focus include exploring how groups of cancer cells that share distinctive genetic mutations, known as “clones,” evolve over time and finding ways to make molecular diagnostic testing more affordable — a necessity for countries with few resources. Our research has led to significant breakthroughs in the detection and treatment of leukemia. For example, I was part of a team that developed a test for detecting very small amounts of cancer cells in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) following treatment. The test helps physicians gauge a patient’s risk of relapse so they can pursue additional treatments before the disease progresses. Outside the lab, I serve on CML guidelines panels for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and European LeukemiaNet, organizations that gather evidence to support optimal medical decision-making for patients with CML.